Having lived in all sorts of different types of housing over the years, we can count on one hand the number of times we've actually had a closet that was able to hold everything. In small spaces it can become even trickier as closets become valuable spaces such as pantries, home offices and more. So in honor of thinking outside the box, here are 5 places to store your clothes that aren't in your closet!
1. Chains & Hardware: Although this isn't the easiest method, it is one that works in a small space. Simply find a stud in the ceiling and hang a hook with long chain attached. Find chain with the largest holes possible to allow hanger heads to slide through. That's all there is to it, you have a new vertical closet. This method also works great with parallel chains connected horizontally with shorter sections of chain, creating a ladder (or mini-clothes bars) to hold your belongings. It's not the most accessible, but can be rotated with winter items at the top during summer and so forth — it is however the least expensive. If you're looking to go more natural, just suspend a branch with chains and you'll have another great look.
2. Rolling Storage: There's all sorts of rolling storage units available to the average consumer these days. Our only problem with most of them is that they aren't really meant to be packed full of clothes, especially if you own heavy things (plus size, lots of denim, sweatshirts etc.) We've tipped every rolling rack we've ever owned, but we've also never paid more than $40 bucks for one. Look for one with solid joints and shelving at the top and bottom of the units (or one that's all metal). The extra bars needed to create the shelf will help stabilize it during use.
3. Plumbing Pipe: We've spent hundreds of dollars on custom fit storage racking (like ClosetMaid) and in the end, all we really needed were some pipe fixtures and some studs. 3 lengths of pipe, two elbow joints and 2 flanges are all that's required. The best part is, the hardware store will cut and thread them for free. Even though they sell pre-cut lengths, they're usually 1/3 higher in price than buying one long bar and having it cut to size (perfect for small spaces). Just make sure you're using long enough screws to anchor things in and you're good to go! Tip: If the space you need the bar to fit doesn't land on a stud, you can affix the pipe ends to a 2'x4' and then attach the board to wherever your studs might lie.
4. Armoires, Cabinets & Consoles: Before we praise these alternatives, we have to express our true (personal) hatred for them. We're not into purchasing a piece of furniture strictly for clothes storage, especially these tall lanky ones. 9 times out of 10 they provide space, but it's not delineated how the average person can maximize its use. They also don't hold a great deal of resale value if you want to sell it on Craigslist down the road. That said, we ARE in favor of modern versions (which come with a heavy price tag) and picking up pieces that can pull double duty... say, a mid-century credenza that also doubles as an entertainment stand, place for a lamp and some artwork. No one really needs to know you keep your underpants and t-shirt collection in the living room!
5. Crates, Boxes & Shelves: Maybe you don't have a closet, but you have a little wall space (even if it's near the ceiling) to spare. Try mounting fruit or wine crates to the wall. They'll act like modular shelves and should hold whatever you need. Try mounting tin cans (to a board for easier removal if needs be) to the wall next to them to hold things like socks and underpants.
Do you have a method that's worked out great for you in the past? Let us know below and make sure to share a photo if you happen to have one!
(Image: Bailey's By Mail, Bed Bath & Beyond, Geoff Bentz, Iconic Room, Emmas Blog)